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Everton Directorship

By Gary Sedgwick :  07/09/2010 :  Comments (11) :
I was going to comment on this mailbag post but then thought its intention would get lost in the myriad of responses on the Birthday thread ? Many happy returns, Bill!

"I fully accept the right to raise issues and indeed have not only done so myself but have written to Kenwright over the Kings Dock debacle. It is not an issue of right and wrong, it s an issue of moving on and general maturity." ? Alan Kirwin (post #68).

So did you get an answer? Or are you still waiting 24/7 for one?

I, like many other/all Evertonians, have concerns about the club's current standing, both on the pitch and as a business, even if I do now live in the US. The most open forum available for discussion of issues pertaining to Everton was taken away from supporters two or three years ago. The forum in question? The AGM.

AGMs are forums in which difficult questions may and will be asked to the directors; an opportunity for the board to show leadership and openness; to show strength through adversity; to provide information to interested parties.

So the board/chairman, with no input from others, decided it was best to do away with the AGM because legally it was not required.

I fully understand that the board/chairman of Everton Football Club were well within their/his rights to do so but to me this does not sit pretty especially as we were the so-called "People's Club". How can EFC be viewed as the "People's Club" (a moniker they touted on the Kirkby project) when the people are not allowed to speak/question freely?

In my opinion this move alienated the supporters. No longer are their voices heard. The club is now a closed shop. No more difficult questions to answer or avoid. The board/chairman can meet without the distractions of a possible/distinct hostile attendance. That may suit the board/chairman but it does not suit me.

The move to abandon the AGM shows weakness. It shows an inability to face adversity directly. It shows the board/chairman to be autocratic. It shows we are not the ?People?s Club? which we are/were touted as...

Reader Comments

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Christopher McCullough
1   Posted 07/09/2010 at 03:00:29

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Yeah, It's 2010. The collective will is limp with fear and society is shaped in TNC board rooms.

No point in moaning.
Tony I'Anson
2   Posted 07/09/2010 at 07:30:11

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Gary, you don't have the AGM to vent your frustrations any longer. However, you are free to write an article a week about what questions you would like to ask the board at an AGM. Then the reaction of many other Evertonians can be documented.

I believe that Toffeweb.com will become an important part of the Everton Collection one day, where key moments in the Club's history have been debated and thrashed out in real time, by real fans without being documented in history by the person taking the minutes at an AGM. All the comments are here in their full glory for new generations of Evertonians to trawl through when we are all 6 foot under, or ashes scattered across the globe.
James I'Anson
3   Posted 07/09/2010 at 09:34:56

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This extract regarding the Shareholders Association is taken from the club's official site of all places.
"This is a small part of this organisation which was founded in 1938 under the auspices of Mr R E Searle who was later to become a director of the club.

It is interesting to note that the original intention of the association was that it should act in the interests of the club?it was to become a form of "watchdog" over important matters concerning the club and was responsible for supervision of transactions and sales of shares.

This description still carries weight today, almost 65 years on.

The association gets involved in club affairs when it feels it necessary?.the last major issue being the state of the football club under the auspices of its previous owner, Mr Peter Johnson.

The association acted in what it felt to be the best interests of the club and helped towards the stable position of today.

Over the years, like Mr Searle, several members of the association went on to become Directors of Everton and the organisation maintains close ties with the board and administration of the football club.

We have over 200 members who represent the minor shareholders of Everton, who presently encompass 900 stockholders.

The association has an executive committee consisting of a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer together with a further 10 members.

The executive committee is elected annually at our annual general meeting in June.

This committee meets 6 to 8 times per annum and holds open forums every quarter, which are open to all our members.

The Board of Everton Football Club has attended several of our August forum meetings and has allowed members to ask questions to seek information in a less formal atmosphere than the club's annual general meeting."
I especially like the bit about Peter Johnson.

Can the association act as a watchdog 10 years on, Bill? Or are they not allowed in to the more "formal atmosphere of the club's AGM".
Tony McNulty
4   Posted 07/09/2010 at 09:45:19

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Tony (#2) Our ?ashes scattered across the Globe.? So, THAT?S where we?re going next. Kirkby finally laid to rest.

(Sorry to interrupt a serious thread but I just couldn?t resist. Bill?s lovey connections, close to the river, good transport links. However, time to get off the pitch. I fully accept my early substitution.)
Alan Kirwin
5   Posted 07/09/2010 at 11:53:22

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Thanks for the quote. I moved on. Try it.

Totally agree with points about People's Club.
Matt Traynor
6   Posted 08/09/2010 at 10:24:36

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Regarding the Johnson regime, if I recall correctly, a lot of the shares that came onto the market and were able to be purchased so readily by the ordinary fan, where placed by one of the Directors of the time - Clifford Finch (think he ran Night Freight). When speaking to him, you got the distinct impression he was a bit like PJ's "Jon Woods". Just bought a load of shares to help out a mate.

I thought he was a decent bloke, and I'm pretty sure he made sure a proportion of his shares did mainly go to ordinary fans, rather than to the current regime.

Maybe someone who bought through that route could confirm?
Michael Kenrick
7   Posted 08/09/2010 at 14:41:29

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As I recall, was that not around the time the Ticket Bastard himself made his push for power via the Shareholders Association, and was able to sell quite a few shares to his potential supporters at a more reasonable sum than Blankstone & Singleton were asking?
Ste Traverse
8   Posted 08/09/2010 at 18:40:26

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The AGM was done away with because BK doesn't like criticism or facing his critics.

Oh and Mr Kirwin, you get more irritating and patronising by the post. "Try it" indeed.
Gary Sedgwick
9   Posted 09/09/2010 at 02:59:03

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Re: Alan (#5)

Alan, I purposefully left out any reference to the thread or the name of the person (you) I quoted to try to keep the article impersonal/neutral. This in an attempt to prevent a response of the nature of your first sentence ? personal. A forum administrator inserted the references, as is their right. Whether I agree with it or not it is their right and I am not going to respond along the lines of WTF, who gives you the right or other comments that readers may view along the lines of that written by Ste. I may or may not agree with Ste but I respect that what he posted is his opinion regardless of if I like it or not.

It is a forum after all and forums create all sorts of discussion. I have written articles for TW in the past and some of the responses have been very critical of my viewpoint. I may have said WTF to myself but that is where that personal thought stayed, with myself.

My thoughts are that if the references had been omitted the opening sentence of your post may have been less antagonistic and more open but I cannot state that as fact. My opening line in response to the quote was meant to be satirical not personal. Remove the references, remain neutral and the article changes in perspective - or at least I think it does.

Glad we agree on the "People's Club" point though.
Michael Kenrick
10   Posted 09/09/2010 at 06:44:16

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Gary (#9) ... Er.. WTF?

I don't quite understand your post but I think you might be over-reacting. Alan didn't strike me as being particularly antagonistic but he has set himself a somewhat boring and futile mission to not have any of us discuss or worry about anything for which he has achieved 'closure'. (Hence "Moved on, Try it"). I don't think you need to be apologetic or defensive.

I think the only reference I added was a link to the Birthday Thread... which is clearly what you were referring to. And possibly the number of Alan's post ? I honestly can't remember. But I have to believe the quote itself was in your original post, and it would have been straight-forward for anyone to figure out who posted it.

So you were clearly referencing what someone else had posted. I don't see how the presence or absence of such "references" modifies the nature of the post in any substantive way.

We should really all drop any use of this lame "People's Club" business. The club has thankfully stopped using it and there is no need for us to give it any currency ? even in a negative sense.
Matt Traynor
11   Posted 10/09/2010 at 07:29:22

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Michael, indeed - Ticket Bastard did offer the shares at a better rate. I even put a colleague in Singapore in touch with him last year who bought shares to ensure he got his Cup Final ticket.

And, if I'm not mistaken, many of those shares offered by Steve were those from Clifford Finch.

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